Game Preview: Chicago State

The 2-0 Irish host 1-1 Great West opponent Chicago State tonight at the Purcell Pavilion.

Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Chicago State (1-1)

Tip-off: 7:30 PM

Previous outings: Notre Dame defeated Liberty 72-51 Sunday afternoon; Chicago State lost to future Irish foe DePaul 114-81.

Stat to Note: The Irish have held their two opponents this season to just 34.5 percent shooting from the field including a 25 percent clip from beyond the arc. Neither Georgia Southern nor Liberty reached 25 points by halftime vs. the Notre Dame defense.

Early Season Quote to Note: "They are moving; they're cutting without the ball. The ball moved much better this year. With Harangody, he would automatically shoot it on most possessions. Now they have more equal threats." – Liberty coach Dale Layer comparing the 2009 Irish squad that he faced last November to this year's group.

Point Spread: Not Yet Available

Notre Dame Starters and Key Contributors

T-minus two games and counting before the Irish are officially challenged in the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Forward: 6'8" 218-pound senior Carleton Scott – Has 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and a steal to go along with 10 points over the first two contests…Dangerous 3-point shooter has missed each of his first four offerings this season.
  • Forward: 6'8" 235-pound senior Tim Abromaitis – Struggling early with just six field goals in 25 attempts including a 3-16 mark from long range…Has grabbed 12 boards to go along with 23 points but the usually automatic free throw shooter has missed two early (8-10) this season.
  • Forward: 6'8" 232-pound senior Tyrone Nash – Formerly poor free throw shooter has connected on 15 of 19 from the charity stripe through two contests…Tied a career-best with 16 points vs. Liberty while also adding 9 boards.
  • Guard/Forward: 6'8" 219-pound senior Scott Martin – Shot 4-16 from the field and 1-8 from behind the 3-point line in the first two games of his college career…Has 8 boards and 5 assists to date while also uncharacteristically struggling from the foul line, making just 4 of his first 7 attempts.
  • Guard: 6'3" 203-pound senior Ben Hansbrough – Senior has knocked down 14 of 23 shots including 9 for 15 from beyond the arc…Led the Irish in scoring with 20 in the opener and followed up with a game-high 19 vs. Liberty…Has 5 boards, 8 assists, 3 steals and just 3 turnovers through his first 58 minutes played.

Key Reserves:

  • Guard: 6'2" 173-pound freshman Eric Atkins – Has made 8 of his first 11 field goal attempts including three of his four offerings from beyond the arc…Credited with 7 assists (vs. 2 turnovers) in his first 44 game minutes…Provides a true point guard presence off the bench, allowing combo guard Ben Hansbrough to play off the ball for stretches during the contest.
  • Forward: 6'6" 215-pound sophomore Joey Brooks – Has compiled 11 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals as the team's 8th man in 31 total minutes, hitting 5 of 9 field goal attempts…Provides an extra ball handler, solid rebounding presence and defensive option vs. multiple positions off the bench.
  • Center/Forward: 6'9" 244-pound sophomore Jack Cooley – Leads team with 6 offensive rebounds while corralling 10 total in 28 game minutes…Scored a career-high 11 points in 16 minutes during the opening win vs. Georgia Southern…Only Irish player to register a rebound, block, assist and steal over the first two contests.
  • Forward: 6'9" 248-pound sophomore Mike Broghammer – Scored 5 points in 11 minutes on 2 of 6 shooting from the field…Added a blocked shot, 2 boards and 4 fouls as well as yet another physical presence for the massive Irish lineup…Grabbed an offensive board in his only minute of action vs. Liberty.
  • Swingman: 6'8" 215-pound freshman Alex Dragicevich – Netted 9 points in 10 minutes during his first collegiate appearance…Air-balled his first three-point offering but connected on his next while adding a 4-4 effort from the charity stripe…Grabbed 3 boards including one offensive in his first game off the bench…Played only the contest's final minute in Game #2 vs. Liberty.
  • Center: 6'10" 253-pound sophomore Tom Knight – Hit each of his three field goal attempts and his only free throw en route to 7 points and 3 rebounds in his first collegiate appearance (Knight was withheld from action as a true freshman last season)…Missed his only shot but dished out his second assist of the season in one minute of action vs. Liberty.

Meet the Cougars

First-year head coach Tracy Dildy earned his stripes with 20 seasons on the sidelines as a trusted assistant, most recently with the UIC Flames, just down the road from his new gig with the Cougars. One season removed from participation in the Mid-Continent Conference, Dildy's Cougars plan to run this season: after errant shots; after made baskets; and ultimately toward an end game of leveling the playing field after finishing 9-23 last season.

Chicago State's pressing style will be the second that the Irish have faced through three games this season. Mike Brey's group annihilated Georgia Southern's up-tempo attack in the season-opener, racing out to leads of 30-3, 37-5 and 58-14 en route to a 37-point victory.

The Cougars should again employ a deep bench as they did in Sunday's loss to DePaul and their opening game win vs. Concordia (Illinois). Eight players played at least 11 minutes vs. the Blue Demons while 10 saw action. 10 also played vs. Concordia with the bench getting a 25-minute boost from guard Ardarius Simmons who provided 5 assists and 3 steals keying the Cougars' full-court pressure.

The visitors are led by guard Christian Wall who's scored 46 points through two games as well as swingman Victor Scott who poured in 22 off the bench vs. Concordia. Forward Carl Montgomery has 19 points and 19 boards in his first two contests.

Prediction: Notre Dame 105 Chicago State 70


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